What I Screwed Up This Week – October 13, 2010


As I mentioned last time, there were two errors that I made during the construction of the sauce packet bin.  The first had to do with planning for installation.  If you missed that one, look back at my post on October 7.

The Problem:

WISU 10/12/10 1The one covered in this episode was also the result of a failure to plan.  (I think I’m starting to see a pattern here.) In this case, it had to so with trimming out the pivot blocks.  When I cut them out, I made them the same height as the bin ends.  Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, as I usually cover plywood edges with edge banding.  However, this time I was planning on using 1/4″ stain-grade birch plywood.  As you can see from the trim strip perched on top of the pivot block in the photo, this presented a problem.

The Solution:

WISU 10/12/10 2This was a simple enough fix.  I removed the bin from the shelf and trimmed 1/4″ from the top of the pivot blocks.  This allowed the trim to nestle into place quite nicely.  Why not the front as well?  If you remember from the first installment, I had planned for the front panel of to overlap the pivot blocks, and it was made from the same plywood.

Luckily, the entire assembly was secured with some screws, so re-installation was not a problem.  The trim was then cut to fit and glued in place and we were ready to paint.

Lesson Learned:

Never forget that components have thickness.  This may seem obvious, but can be easy to overlook.  I’ve caught myself almost making this mistake on bookshelves – calculate the space between the shelves, but forget to allow for the thickness of the shelves themselves.  Small things like veneer, edge banding, and even film finishes like varnish or paint all add a thickness that can be at least felt with the fingers, and can influence the fit of components.  As a last step in any design, at least do a layout of certain key components as a crude sketch and make sure that all your measurements add up.

Later this week I’ll be starting on the outfeed table for my tablesaw, and I’m sure this project will yield more grist for our error mill.  Stay tuned!

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